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RBS finalizes $4.9B US settlement; VTB buys majority stake in Vozrozhdenie

* It emerged that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has passed internal stress tests for a 40% drop in the value of the Turkish lira against the U.S. dollar although the currency has depreciated more than that this year, Reuters reported.

* Meanwhile, the lira continued its slump in Asian trading today after rebounding more than 8% yesterday following measures announced by the Turkish central bank, Bloomberg News reported. The regulator reduced the amount commercial lenders must park at the central bank and relaxed regulations governing how they manage lira and foreign-currency liquidity.

* Turkey's leading business groups were urging the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tighten monetary policy, implement austerity measures and immediately resolve a growing dispute with the U.S. as the country's currency crisis continues.


* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC declared an interim ordinary dividend of 2 pence per share, which will be paid Oct. 12 to shareholders on the register at the close of business Aug. 24. The move came after the bank finalized a $4.9 billion settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve claims of misleading investors in the underwriting and issuing of residential mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis.

* Admiral Group PLC reported first-half unaudited consolidated after-tax profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of £177.2 million, up from £163.2 million a year ago.

* British asset manager Schroders PLC increased its stake in Dutch private-credit firm Neos Direct Lending to 49% from 25%, Private Equity News reported.

* Harwood Wealth Management Group PLC named Gillian Davies interim CFO, effective immediately. Davies replaces Nick Bravery, who will step down from the company's board with effect from Oct. 31.


* Deutsche Bank AG's board will discuss extending the contracts of investment banking head Garth Ritchie and several other senior executives at its October supervisory board meeting, the Financial Times reported, citing a spokesperson for the German bank.

* Munich-based payment processing service provider Wirecard AG overtook Deutsche Bank AG yesterday to become Germany's most valuable financial services provider, Spiegel Online cited a report by news agency dpa. Wirecard shares, part of the TecDAX index, reached a market valuation of more than €21 billion, beating Deutsche Bank's €20 billion for the first time.

* The general assemblies of Bremer Kreditbank AG and Oldenburgische Landesbank AG agreed on a merger of the banks under the new brand name of OLB, pending registration in the trade registry.

* Commerzbank AG, after it entered a partnership with Google Pay to offer mobile payment services in Germany in June this year, is now also considering a cooperation with Apple Pay as mobile payment systems continue to gain in importance in Germany, Börsen-Zeitung cited Michael Mandel, head of the private customers division at Commerzbank, as saying in an interview with dpa.

* Austrian bank Bawag PSK reported second-quarter net profit of €116.3 million, up from €106.4 million a year ago. For the first half, the lender reported a net profit of €202.7 million, compared to €201.5 million in the same period in 2017.

* Since tax disputes between U.S. authorities and Switzerland began in 2007, almost 100 Swiss banks paid a total of around $6 billion for settlements, nine of them at least $100 million each, Handelszeitung noted.

* The Swiss Federal Administrative Court refused a request by a journalist from a local broadcast station for access to official documents about former UBS Group AG banker Raoul Weil, who was arrested in 2013 for allegedly assisting U.S. clients evade taxes but was acquitted of the charge a year later, reported. The court argued the preservation of Swiss-U.S. relations was more important than transparency in the public interest.

* Lukas Feh, head of markets supervision and investigation at SIX Group AG, is resigning with immediate effect after 13 years with the company, Finews reported. SIX confirmed Feh's departure but did not elaborate.

* Bitcoin Suisse AG hired Rolf Gätzi as head of finance and operations and David Riegelnig as chief risk officer, Finews reported. They join from Credit Suisse Group AG, where Gätzi was head of external asset manager service and Riegelnig was head of operational risk private banking.


* Euronext NV has increased its interest in electronic currency trading company FastMatch to 97.3%, De Telegraaf reported. Euronext bought shares from FastMatch co-founder and CEO Dmitri Galinov, who has left the company.

* NN Investment Partners Holdings NV said it has recently cut its exposure to Turkey and Russia across hard currency, local currency and corporate portfolios due to rising headline risk in both countries amidst tensions with the U.S., Reuters reported.

* China-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. has been exploring options for the sale of its Netherlands-based subsidiary Vivat NV for the past few weeks, De Telegraaf reported, citing four banking sources.


* ABC wrote how the collapse of the lira is increasingly taking its tolls on the share price of a number of Spanish banks, given the increased exposure of the sector to the Ottoman country. At present, the Spanish banking sector holds close to $80.90 billion in Turkish public debt, 3x as much compared to the amount held in 2013.

* Meanwhile, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA said it has a risk hedging policy to protect its capital and profits deriving from Turkey against the depreciation of the lira, Europa Press reported.

* The Portuguese banking again registered a decrease in the amount of loans taken from the ECB, Jornal de Negócios wrote. The country has a total of €19.7 billion of loans in July, down 15.94% from a year ago and the lowest amount since 2015.


* Danske Bank A/S will cease its operations in Lithuania and other Baltic countries, news agency Prime reported after Lithuanian business newspaper Verslo zinios. The bank's Lithuanian customers were informed that the lender will stop providing banking services from Oct. 27 and close their existing accounts. Similar information was also provided to Danske clients in Estonia.

* Norwegian lender DNB ASA will move its mutual funds to index-tracking from active management in response to the market's demand for "broad, index-based strategies," Reuters reported.

* The EU Commission recommends that the EU Council does not reject the Swedish FSA's proposal for a modified method for applying the current risk weight floor for Swedish mortgage loans, Dagens Industri reported.

* Swedish banks' gross margin on mortgage loans decreased to 1.57% from 1.64% in the second quarter of 2018, Realtid reported.

* One of Denmark's largest credit companies, the government-owned Export Credit Agency, has decided not to take on new risks in Turkey amid a financial crisis in the country, Finans reported.


* VTB Bank PJSC reached an agreement with Bonum Capital (Cyprus) Ltd. to acquire a majority stake in Vozrozhdenie Bank. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

* Russian lenders booked a combined net profit of 776 billion rubles for the first seven months of 2018, down more than 15.7% from the same period in 2017, due to the bailout of several troubled banks, Reuters reported, citing central bank data.

* The Armenian central bank kept its key refinancing rate unchanged at 6%, Reuters reported.


Asia-Pacific: Anbang eyes Dutch unit sale; India's Cosmos Bank hacked; IAG posts FY'18 results

Middle East & Africa: Bank Leumi Q2 income up YOY; Ghana to prosecute execs of collapsed banks

Latin America: Argentina hikes key rate to 45%; BNDES H1 profit soars 253.9%

North America: Wells eyes student loan refinancing; Goldman advising on Tesla privatization

Global Insurance: Icahn ends Express Scripts feud; Willis suing Alliant; Swiss Life profit rises


Data Dispatch Europe: Lira woe won't spark banking crisis but offers taste of life after cheap dollars: European banks with significant stakes in Turkish lenders are likely to take a hit to their bottom lines, albeit a manageable one, but the lira crisis is a warning sign to investors in other emerging markets as the cheap-dollar era draws to a close.

Data Dispatch Europe: Italy's bad-loan cleanup continues as clouds gather over banks, economy: While concerns grow over the future stability of the Italian economy and banking sector, the lenders' efforts to sell off bad loans are continuing — although these too can be hampered by potential legislative changes.

Bain ownership will allow Esure to expand digital capacities, insurer's CEO says: A purchase of Esure by Bain Capital will allow the U.K. insurer to invest more in digital capabilities, according to Esure's interim CEO, Darren Ogden.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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